Cold War Rocket For ‘Nuclear Weapons’ Found In Garage Following Estate Sale
Law enforcement in northwestern Washington delved into a gripping investigation involving a Cold War relic—a rocket unearthed in the garage of a deceased individual. The Bellevue Police Department (BPD), responding to a plea from the Air Force museum in Dayton, Ohio, meticulously examined the rocket. The owner, with intentions to donate it to the museum, inherited the missile from his late neighbor, who snagged it at an estate sale.
Upon scrutiny by the BPD bomb squad, the rocket unveiled its identity as a Douglas AIR-2 Genie (formerly MB-1), an unguided air-to-air rocket tailored for a 1.5 kt W25 nuclear warhead. However, the bomb squad confirmed its inert state, devoid of any nuclear payload, making it a non-explosive relic. In a bold move, the police chose not to seize the item, leaving it with the resident for eventual restoration and museum display.
The AIR-2 Genie, designed to counter enemy bomber formations, etched its place in history with a test detonation in 1957 over Yucca Flats, Nevada—the sole instance of a U.S. nuclear-tipped air-to-air rocket being unleashed. Production halted in 1962, and its operational use concluded in the mid-1980s, according to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
The BPD, injecting a touch of humor into the narrative, shared an image of the rocket on Twitter, saying, “And we think it’s gonna be a long, long time before we get another call like this again.” The incident serves as an intriguing intersection of Cold War artifacts and modern-day museum preservation endeavors, offering a captivating glimpse into retired military technology.
This incident, blending elements of history and present-day curiosity, unfolds a unique chapter in the region’s narrative. The rocket, having weathered the years, now stands as a testament to an era long gone—a piece of history saved from oblivion, ready to captivate museum-goers with its Cold War tales.